Paul to return for Houston after 17-game absence

HOUSTON (AP) — Chris Paul will return for the Houston Rockets against the Orlando Magic after missing the last 17 games with a strained left hamstring.

The nine-time All-Star has been out since he was injured Dec. 20 in a loss at Miami.

Coach Mike D’Antoni said Paul’s minutes will be limited initially and he hopes to keep him somewhere in the mid-20s on Sunday night.

The Rockets have done well in Paul’s absence, going 12-5 behind the high-scoring of James Harden and some help from the addition of Austin Rivers, who started while Paul was out.